We live in a world in which technology has destroyed the barriers to building a media platform and removed its gatekeepers. The rise of blogging, YouTubing, podcasting, Vining, and online education is the result of this seismic change. This revolution has created tremendous business opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Millions of people have built their own platforms and are making a living as podcasters, bloggers, authors, speakers, YouTube personalities, etc. Some are doing it full time and some are participating on the side.
These entrepreneurs usually work on their own, doing highly creative work, addressing important problems, and creating value for the people who follow them. They leverage technology to scale themselves, to build their audience and to create content, products and services for them. They educate, inspire and serve.
They operate in a number of industries, including education, online business, art, design, health and wellness, technology, etc.
I have interviewed many of these types of entrepreneurs in the podcast: people like Mr. Solopreneur Hour himself, Michael O’Neal; Ray Collazo of Latino Talk and Ray’s Podcast Network; Lizza Morales of XOXO; Cynthia Sanchez of Ohsopinteresting, and Jorge Narvaez of Reality Changers, among others.
Jorge Narvaez is the most famous single dad on YouTube. He started his “Reality Changers” platform to dedicate songs to his daughters. Little did he know that his "Reality Changers” channel would grow to more than 178 million visits, becoming one of the most popular Hispanic channels on YouTube in the U.S.
Jorge has become one of the top Hispanic YouTube stars because he is authentic; he truly cares about helping people and has a message that resonates strongly with his audience:
“Be positive, be strong and be with your family.” — Jorge Narvaez, single dad and YouTube star
His authenticity, good intentions, and message come across clearly in his videos, and his fans love him for it.
What all of these people like Jorge have in common is that they have built an audience around their platform, and that platform follows them. They provide a significant amount of value to their audience in the form of free content, paid courses, or entertainment. They are known, liked and trusted by their audience because of who they are and what they do for them.
Nely Galan is the founder of the Adelante Movement and former president of Telemundo. She started off as a journalist and then became an entrepreneur in the media business. After her entrepreneurial journey, she was able to become the president of Telemundo, where she was the first female president of a network here in the United States.
After running Telemundo very successfully for a number of years, she founded the Adelante Movement, which empowers Latinas to achieve their success. She helps them through training seminars, teaching them to understand how to build their own businesses and lead successful lives. Nely has built a powerful platform for herself and is an inspiration and an example on how to build yours.
In the old days, politicians used to stand up on physical platforms to deliver their speeches. Today, the meaning of the word platform has expanded. The platform is an expression of you, your brand, and your mission. It is very powerful because it is the vehicle by which you can fulfill your calling, make a lot of money, help a lot of people, and be seen as an expert in your field, whatever that may be.
Your platform can live in all the touch points that bring it to life, such as your website, your blog, your podcast, videos, your book, trainings, events, when you give a talk, etc. The platform is the vehicle and your message in action.
With the tools we now have at our disposal, it is very easy and cheap to build your platform. But first you need to identify your mission, that problem you deeply desire to solve, and how you are going to contribute to other people's lives.
Then, build a branded platform around your mission, offering value to people through different media vehicles I have talked about. Building a platform can make you very successful as it can be a huge differentiator for you and a huge boost for your career. A platform also allows you to have a lot of impact in other people's lives.
So seriously, consider building your platform.